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MR G: A Novel about the Creation (Vintage Contemporaries)by Alan Lightman
Alan Lightman tackles the gigantic task of explaining the universe in his new novel, Mr g. The latest theories in science and physics, along with a dose of theology, produce this slim novella that packs a punch. The narrator, Mr g, creates several universes and certain governing laws, then sits back and watches as nature takes over. Mulling over such mysteries as time, consciousness, free will, human suffering, and death, Mr g and his accidental byproduct of creation, the sinister Belhor, become a bit more entangled in creation than Mr g had first anticipated. It's evident that the writing chops Lightman displayed in Einstein's Dreams were no fluke. Wry, intelligent, inquisitive, and truly humorous, Mr g is a delightful novel.
Synopses & Reviews
“As I remember, I had just woken up from a nap when I decided to create the universe.”
So begins Alan Lightman’s playful and profound new novel, Mr g, the story of Creation as told by God. Barraged by the constant advisements and bickerings of Aunt Penelope and Uncle Deva, who live with their nephew in the shimmering Void, Mr g proceeds to create time, space, and matter. Then come stars, planets, animate matter, consciousness, and, finally, intelligent beings with moral dilemmas. Mr g is all powerful but not all knowing and does much of his invention by trial and error.
Even the best-laid plans can go awry, and Mr g discovers that with his creation of space and time come some unforeseen consequences—especially in the form of the mysterious Belhor, a clever and devious rival. An intellectual equal to Mr g, Belhor delights in provoking him: Belhor demands an explanation for the inexplicable, requests that the newly created intelligent creatures not be subject to rational laws, and maintains the necessity of evil. As Mr g watches his favorite universe grow into maturity, he begins to understand how the act of creation can change himself, the Creator.
With echoes of Calvino, Rushdie, and Saramago, combining science, theology, and moral philosophy, Mr g is a stunningly imaginative work that celebrates the tragic and joyous nature of existence on the grandest possible scale.
Alan Lightman, the internationally bestselling author of Einstein's Dreams, presents Mr g, a celebration of the highs and lows of existence, on the grandest possible scale: the story of Creation, as told by God.
Once before time existed, Mr g woke up from a nap and decided to create the universe. In the shimmering Void, where he lives with his Aunt Penelope and Uncle Deva, he creates time, space, and matter. Soon follow stars, planets, animate matter, consciousness,and intelligent beings with moral dilemmas. But the creation of space and time has unintended consequences, including the arrival of Belhor, a clever and devious rival. Belhor delights in needling Mr g, demanding explanations for the inexplicable, offering his own opinions on the fledgling universes, and maintaining the necessity of evil. As Mr g’s favorite universe grows, he discovers how an act of creation can change everything in the world—including the creator himself.
About the Author
Alan Lightman is the author of five previous novels, including the National Book Award finalist The Diagnosis, a book-length narrative poem, two collections of essays, and several books on science. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and Nature, among other publications. A theoretical physicist as well as a novelist, he has served on the faculties of Harvard and MIT, and was the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment at MIT in science and in the humanities.
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